At Lindbergh, Trevonn Russell leading with legendary work ethic
Russell, who calls his work in the weight room a near addiction, elicits piles of praise from his coach and teammates.
Seattle Times staff reporter
RENTON – Teammates put their trust in Trevonn Russell.
And Russell reveres that responsibility.
A captain of the Lindbergh High School football, wrestling and track and field teams, he wants to lead by example. Russell is typically the first at practice and last to leave.
Matt Leamer, in his eighth year with the football program, calls him the hardest worker he’s ever coached –—“and it’s not even close.”
Russell’s intense work ethic paid off with first-team, all-Seamount League honors as a junior offensive lineman and linebacker last season.
“It sets a good impression,” Russell said. “If someone asks about Trevonn, ‘What’s Trevonn like?’ They can say, ‘Well, he works hard. I wouldn’t say he’s the best, but he tries to be. ’”
His mom, Tiffany, saw that trait in her only child early on.
“I’ve never seen a kid work so hard,” she said. “He doesn’t like lazy people, especially when it comes to sports. It frustrates him when people try to just get by with the minimum.”
The 6-foot, 210-pound Trevonn, who calls his work in the weight room a near addiction, raised his lift totals (315 bench, 425 squad, 262 clean) in the offseason. And if he’s not in the weight room, he’s out on the practice field.
“I don’t think there’s anywhere he’d rather be than out there,” teammate Jarrett Holt said. “The kid’s nonstop.”
Leamer, who has taken over for Pat O’Grady as head coach, added: “He does his job at the highest level. He plays extremely hard.”
And intelligently. Russell has made Lindbergh’s blitz calls on the field since he was a sophomore.
“Defense all the way, all the way,” he said with a chuckle. “I like to create contact. I don’t like to get hit. I’d rather do the hitting. I’d rather be the aggressor.”
Tiffany describes her son as an “old soul” who is equally comfortable conversing with a 3-year-old or 103-year-old.
And he’s a key reason the Eagles reached the 2A playoffs again last fall, and his late-season injury played a role in their early exit. He hopes to help them make a deeper run this year, no matter what it takes.
“Even when we think we can’t give any more, we’ve got to give the unthinkable, because I feel all those teams that have gotten farther, that’s what they do,” Russell said. “It’s not just a walk in the park. They don’t just show up and win. It has to do with hard work and teamwork.”
It is that attitude that helps make Russell a special player, a special person.
“He’s one of the greatest kids I’ve ever coached,” said Leamer, in his 15th year overall. “I have a 1-year old boy, and if my son turns out like that, I’m going to be a happy dad.”